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tv   New Day  CNN  August 25, 2014 3:00am-6:01am PDT

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women who are living a parent's worst nightmare. your "new day" starts right now. good morning everyone. welcome to "new day." it is monday, august 25th, 6:00234 the east. i'm john berman joined this morning by allison cam rata. great to meet you. >> you as well. you're everywhere. chris and kate are off this morning. we'll begin with president obama and his top advisers bearing down for a war possibly against isis t. commander in chief back from his vacation meeting this morning with defense secretary chuck hagel, this amid increasing concerns by some at least that isis could try and attack the united states. this comes as american held captive in syria for almost two years finally granted his freedom. now officials in the united kingdom are working to identify the man seen on video executing
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james foley one week ago, this as multiple reports say three more americans remain in enemy hands. senior international correspondent nick paton walsh begins our coverage this morning. so many developments to talk about. good morning. >> reporter: john, that key decision in washington, do they take the fight against isis to syria as well as iraq weighing down on barack obama now. but there has been a rare piece of positive news because one of the rivals to isis also linked to al qaeda, also considered a terrorist group were holding this american hostage, peter thee or curtis for close to two years. press shew it seems, negotiations with the u.s. government and qatari authorities did lead yesterday to his eventual release. after a week of horror, finally some good news, an american held hostage in syria by islamist rebels for nearly two years is free. 45-year-old peter theo curtis, a
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freelance author and journalist released sunday after being held by a syrian rebel group with ties to al qaeda. his family thanking the government of the u.s. and qatar for their efforts, while the u.s is has denied any involvement and details of his release are unclear. he was released to u.s. government of fibls. these videos show curtis during his last few months in captivity. in this video a rebel points a gun at his head while curtis speaks rapidly as if under duress. curtis was captured in october 2012 and held in aleppo with american journalist matthew slee yeah, the two locked up for months before planning es case. curtis, however, got stuck trying to escape. >> i'm pulling him and pulling him as hard as i could. we weren't making any headway and we were making too much
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noise. the windows were open and the lights were above me and the sun was coming up. >> you must have known you had to leave him? >> yeah. one of the hardest things i have ever had to do. >> curtis' release comes five days after isis released a video of the beheading of james foley. on sunday his parents release ag letter on facebook they say he composed on captivity, talked about sharing one cell with 17 others and playing games made up of scraps they found. foley had a fellow hostage memorize the letter dictating it to his family upon release. british officials close to identifying the isis militant responsible for the be heading. experts say he speaks with a distinctly british accent, using clues in the video to pinpoint the killer out of hundreds of british muslims who joined itis. >> we put a great deal of resource into identifying this person. i think we're not far away from
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that. >> reporter: john, clearly it's not exactly know the technical details around this release. it suggested it was on humanitarian grounds, no money changed hands. the qatari government as well is the decision to release it on the israeli border, one family very happy. >> the family says they have been told no ransom was paid t. important thing, he is back with his familiar limit nick paton walsh, our thanks to you. u.s. military leaders are ready to launch air strikes against isis in syria if needed. the white house making it clear it will, quote, take actions if threats are made against america. this as militants seized an air base and took control of an entire province. barbara starr joins us with all the dramatic details.
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what's the latest? >> good morning, allison. that air base now giving isis control over a wide swath of that region. the u.s. military is always ready for air strikes anywhere, they will tell you. the question now is whether president obama will take the step and authorize those air strikes. we simply don't know at this hour. defense secretary chuck hagel expected at the white house later today. the debate right now, does isis truly present a direct threat to the u.s. homeland? could they attack here. most intelligence officials will tell you no, that is not their goal at the moment and they really couldn't carry it off. they are, however, a regional threat. the u.s. already conducting those air strikes against isis inside iraq in order to protect u.s. interests. the question, will the u.s. take the step and go across the border. what would have to happen before air strikes in syria could occur. officials tell us there would
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have to be a number of reconnaissance flights most likely by u.s. drones to find the actual targets, the realtime targeting intelligence, where isis is at a given point in time. that will have to happen before any air strikes could occur if the president authorizes them. >> we'll be talking to our military experts this morning about that as well. thanks for the update. joining us now to talk more about the release of peter theo curtis is his former roommate and friend matt wormser. >> thank you for having us. >> tell us how you got to know theo, as you call him. >> we were high school roommates at a little school down in southern vermont. we started the summer together way back when and became friends and decided to become roommates at that point. we spent two years together living in way too small of a dorm room and have been great
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friends, needless to say, ever since. >> matt, most americans were not aware that theo was a hostage during these past 22 months in syria, but i know you and his family, of course, were painfully aware that he was gone for these two years. what were they like? >> it was very surreal for me. the first nine months he was -- we had no idea where he was. to be perfectly honest, he was in the middle of an intense civil war, and personally i held out very little hope at that point. shockingly enough we found out nine months in he was, in fact, alive and that was fabulous news. the terrible news was he was being held by an al qaeda affiliated terrorist group. a little bit out of the frying pan and into the fire there. so it's been quite a roller coaster. needless to say, the roller coaster i've been through is a
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fraction of what nancy, his mother and his sister and cousins have been through through this whole thing. it's been difficult certainly, but i feel privileged relative to his immediate family certainly. >> did theo ever talk to you about his dangerous assignments and what he was doing in places like syria? >> well, there are people out there -- it was very clear from my early stages of my friendship with theo that he was not destined to spend his days in an office as i do. he's an individual with an intense curiosity about the world, with an intense desire to gout and tell stories that aren't necessarily told in the primary media. he's ooh person who has an incredible facility with
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languagetion, incredible curiosity. he would go into countries and befriend people from the elites to the street corner sweepers. that's really what made him passionate about his work. that's what makes him very good at what he does. certainly he was well aware of the risks that he understood. he's a person without children. so in many ways it's a risk he assumes eyes wide open. >> matt, tell us how you got word that he had been released. >> my wife and i got a voice mail from his cousin, and we had actually been out on our boat all day long. we were in a news blackout as it
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were. my wife came sprinting up to me saying, he's free, he's free. it was an extremely happy moment, needless to say. >> matt, we hear you're motion, and we can only imagine what these two years have been like for you and all the people who love theo. we appreciate you sharing a piece of your personal story with us this morning. >> all too happy to. >> we hope you get to see him soon. >> thank you very much. >> i can't imagine what his friends and family have been through, especially this last week. it must be so emotional to get word he's free. >> first to hear he was captured and feel so helpless. they said it was like having a friend with a terminal illness because it was hard to enjoy themselves. >> and also not getting to spend any time comforting them or reaching out to them. that's the other aspect of it. >> that's going to be quite a reunion when that does happen. now to the aftermath of the violent earthquake in
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california. people in wine country now dealing with dozens of aftershocks, but many getting back to business this morning. the quake made a mess of downtown napa. it was so powerful, even the buildings there retrofitted to withstand tremors, even those buildings were damaged. about 100 homes considered unfit to enter this morning. thousands still without power. schools in the area are closed to day. napa's airport is open even though you can see there most of the windowtion on the air traffic control tower were blown out in this earthquake. dan simon following all the latest from napa. good morning, dan. >> reporter: good morning, john. it's a disaster zone here in downtown napa. you have streets blocked off, debris all over the place. you can see this building got hit hard. on the bottom was a sidewalk cafe. on the top you had some offices. i tell you what, it was a terrifying 20 or 25 seconds. folks in this area say it's some of the worst shaking they have ever felt.
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now we're about 24 hours since the event and the extent of the damage is still unknown. >> the cleanup effort in napa continues this morning while crews work to restore power to thousands left in the dark after sunday's earthquake. the first moments of the powerful quake caught on camera, rattling residents out of their sleep at 3:20 a.m. >> it's an earthquake. >> reporter: striking the bay area at a whopping 6.0 magnitude, the strongest felt here in 25 years. >> it kept going, kept going and kept going. i felt like i was on a raft in the ocean almost. >> reporter: in downtown napa, six miles southwest of the epicenter, historical buildings and homes sustained heavy damage. pieces of this courthouse and other structures crumbled to the ground. authorities reporting over a hundred injuries including a young child seriously hurt when a fireplace collapsed. >> i was shocked to see people's
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homes, people's offices on the floor and crooked to know that this is life changing. >> reporter: business owners in the wine country also reporting being hit hard. hundreds of gallons of wine spewing from a crack in this storage tank. >> a wine maker across the street from us, they were devastated, dozens and dozens of their barrels collapsed. >> reporter: fires broke out following the quake destroying dozens of homes, broken water mains hampering efforts to extinguish the flames. fire crews having no choice but to let these mobile homes burn to the ground. experts now warning residents of aftershocks. >> we think there's probably over 50 or 60 aftershocks now. the largest one being a magnitude 3.6. we do think the aftershocks will continue for several weeks. >> reporter: well, the napa valley wine industry still taking stock of all the damage. we know for some wine makers the toll will be significant.
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in the meantime here we are in downtown napa. we know the cleanup will begin today. really the main concern for the area is repairing the infrastructure, getting the waterlines, making sure there are no gas leaks and, of course, getting the power turned back on. >> dan simon, our thanks to you. a lot of work there, clearly right behind you. calls for silence and peace as michael brown's family prepares to say good-bye. the 1-year-old will be laid to rest this morning in st. louis. three white house officials are expected to be on hand for the funeral service. as days of violent protest have given way to relative calm in ferguson, brown's father is pleading for a day of silence today to honor his son's memory. cnn's stephanie elam live in st. louis with morning. good morning, stephanie. >> reporter: good morning, john. it's been more than two weeks since mike brown died. after all the violence we've seen, all the protests, it's finally a moment for his family and friends to say good-bye.
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for more than two weeks how he died has kept a town in turmoil. but now ferguson, missouri, is preparing to remember mike brown for who he was. >> what's his name? >> mike brown! >> reporter: the funeral for the 18-year-old will be held at a baptist church in st. louis. the service will be open to the public with up to 5,000 mourners expected to attend. three white house officials will be in attendance, including marlin marshall who went to high school in st. louis with michael brown's mother. >> he was only 18. he had a chance to make a mistake and correct it. just like the officer. >> hands up, don't shoot! >> reporter: at a peace rally in st. louis sunday trayvon martin's mother called for respect of basic human rights. >> because michael brown had a right to live. he had a right to see another
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birthday. >> reporter: michael brown, senior, asked for the focus today to be on remembering his son, not protesting. >> all i want is peace while my son is being laid to rest. can you please, please take a day of silence. >> reporter: in another part of st. louis over the weekend, a show of support for daryn wilson, the officer that fatally shot brown. >> my name is daryn wilson. we are daryn wilson. >> reporter: while wilson remains in hiding, his supporters held rallies and marches. organizers say they have savhav $400,000. >> reporter: brown's family, too, wants justice, but today they pause that pursuit to bury their son. the sanctuary in the baptist church as you can see behind us, it actually can fit 2,500 people
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and overflow rooms that will accommodate another 2,500. they expect it to be widely attended, also expecting several political figures as well as a few celebrities to show up this morning. >> quite a morning to remember michael brown. thanks so much, stephanie. in a moment we'll hear from michael brown's mother as well as two other mothers who lost their sons in shootings, trayvon martin's mother and bell's mother. this is a cnn exclusive. it's very emotional. you'll want to see this. >> very hard for her to find comfort. there's a measure of comfort there i hope. >> they have been in her shoes. good morning to the two of you and good morning to you at hope. the hope for a cease-fire in the middle east growing grim. overnight israel says rockets landed in communities near the gaza border, there were no injuries. this as at least 16 people were killed by israeli strikes sunday including a hamas financial
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leader. four israelis were injured in a mortar strike near the gaza border. >> breaking this morning, russia says it plans to send another convoy into eastern ukraine in the coming days. the first convoy delivered aid on friday. that was not authorized by ukraine n. the meantime, prisoners were paraded throughout the streets of donetsk on sunday. crowds hurled bottles and insults at dozens of captured soldiers. tomorrow ukrainian president poroshenko and russian president putin will meet to discuss the on going conflict. authorities are investigating a security scare that forced a flight from dallas to san diego to make an emergency landing. american airlines flight 362 had to divert to phoenix with 179 passengers and six crew members aboard. it came after a series of tweets targeted a sony executive who was aboard the flight. the tweets say explosives were on board the plane.
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passengers and crew were boarded to land safely in san diego. a big night at the mtv music awards. ♪ broken love >> they say she was the queen of the night. beyonce had one of the night's biggest performances when she accepted the video vanguard award. he brought daughter blue ivy up and putting to rest any rumors out there. miley cyrus god the award for wrecking ball. a moving speech, and rapper common took the stage to call for a moment of silence for michael brown, the unarmed teenager in ferguson, missouri. >> i'm glad beyonce was finally recognized, overlooked. >> she's the pinnacle of every award show.
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you bring beyonce. >> tony's, emmy's, nobel prize. 19 minutes past the hour. next up, a cnn exclusive, three mothers who lost their sons to very public incidents of gun violence. how did they get through the turmoil? don lemon sits down with the mothers. >> i used to say losing my son was like part of your body, but you remember what that part of your body has done for you. thank ythank you for defendiyour sacrifice.
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as the family of michael brown prepares to lay him to rest, his mother lesley is receiving support from two women who know her pain too well. sabrina fulton lost her son trayvon martin in 2012 when he was shot and killed by george zimmerman. valerie bell's son died in a barrage of police bullets in 2006. the three mothers came together to speak about their loss. don lemon sat down with them. he's live in st. louis. that must have been a remarkable gathering, don. >> reporter: it was remarkable. i do have to say, john, it is
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probably the most emotional interview that i've ever had to conduct. what do you ask these two mothers? but they did open up, and the mother of michael brown opened up as well. as you said, trayvon martin died in 2012, sean bell died back in 2006, the morning of his wedding. they were at a bachelor party. police, plainclothes and detectives shot about 50 shots into the car killing him and injuring two of his friends. of course, we know michael brown just died two weeks ago. i sat down with this interviews and it was the first time they met and it was really emotional to see it all unfold. >> we got it. >> we got it. >> hey, mamma. god bless you. god bless you.
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>> an emotional embrace. >> just lean on him and he going to cover you and he going to cover your family and he's going to make sure you're okay. >> the mothers of trayvon martin, sean bell and michael brown meeting for the first time. >> coop your head up so we can see your son in you. >> we'll see you in a few minutes. >> we stepped out of the room giving them time alone before starting our interview. >> what can these women -- they can offer you something that the guys can't, that husbands can't. >> yes. >> what can they offer you? >> speaking to me from experien experience. they're offering me something right now. i can't tell you what it is. but it's something.
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and something is more than nothing. >> when we were standing there waiting to meet her, you turned to valerie and said are you having flashbacks of this moment when it was the day before, the home going -- >> the flashback is my son eight years ago, that was my flashback and thinking of her at that time. her son was 10 years old when it happened. i thought to say to her, keep the memories in your heart that's going to help you to continue to speak out to help you continue to carry on for your son and also a faith in god and close family members. that's what keeps the memories of my son. he used to tell me, ma, i got this. i'm telling you, ma'am, you got this. i still cry and scream. >> you have to focus when he was smiling, his first day of school, christmas day and things like that, the happier times and
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put a picture up when he was happy, and you have to focus on those. just don't focus on the death. that's going to eat away at you. >> lesley, you know it's hard and you're probably thinking right now that i'm sure it doesn't seem real to you, but these ladies are examples that you can survive this. i don't know -- i can't -- maybe i'm not putting it in the right words, but can you ever be whole again or can you ever -- >> i don't think it's a matter of being whole. what i think it is is a matter of a new life and this is the new life. this is -- i can never go back to who i was and what i was because i'm missing something very precious in my life and something very special. >> losing my son was like losing a part of your body, but you remember. you remember what that part of your body has done for you. if you lose an arm, you know what that arm did.
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my thing is keeping the memories to help you carry on. >> i want you guys to talk about it, it's going to be very difficult and you have dealt with it. character assassination. you describe it as character assassinati assassination. what do you mean by that? >> that means that people that don't even know her son is going to say negative things about him just to portray him in a different light, in a negative light just to try to justify what happened. >> is that one of the hardest parts, or are you on thinking about people talking about your son? >> the hardest part for her is going to be the home going service. as i have said, that is the absolutely worst day of her life as a mother because there is no
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words that can bring comfort to her as a mother by seeing her son in a casket. >> do you go around the house in the kitchen, do you talk to trayvon? >> absolutely, absolutely. >> do you? >> yes. if i know something has to be done, ma, i got this, that's his favorite saying, ma, i got this. >> do you do the same thing, lesley? >> especially when it rains. >> when it rains. why? >> something about the rain. something about it. >> that makes you want to -- >> i feel him. >> he's there. he's there. he's watching over you. >> what was it like meeting her?
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>> i'm glad i did meet you. it brought back memories for my son. i thought of your son. >> it's hurtful, but at the same time it's comforting because i know she needs people that understand what she's going through. >> leslie, what was it like meeting these ladies. they've been saying everything, how they feel about you. what's it like meeting them? what do you want to say to them? >> i'm sorry what you had to go through, and i'm sorry about yours, too. >> thank you all. >> he got you, baby. he got you.
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>> reporter: i thought it was showed extraordinary strength that she conducted this interview after just coming from the funeral home and seeing her son for the first time and making sure that his body was the way she wanted it to be. they told us it's going to be a closed casket ceremony. when i asked her what she wanted to say to those ladies and she turned to them and said i just want to say i'm sorry you had to go through this. imagine that. imageer her saying she's sorry to them. it's heartbreaking, and regardless of how you feel about this case, whose side you're on, if you want to pick sides, the officer's side or mike brown's side, no mother should have to go through this. >> john, i can't imagine, i can't imagine what they're going through. three separate tragedies.
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but such a blessing in a way they have each other. >> a horrible blessing. what a horrible blessing. >> at least they're there. >> they have the support for one another. next up on "new day," an american held captive in syria spared the fate that awaited james foley. peter theo curtis finally free after two years in captivity. we'll break down the efforts that secured his release. there are a lot of questions about that. that's just ahead. ♪ so nice, so ♪ st. croix, full of pure vibes ♪ ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ st. john, a real paradise ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ proud to be from the virgin islands ♪ ♪ and the whole place nice to experience your virgin islands nice, book one of our summer packages today. virgin islands nice, book one what does it mean to have an unlimited mileage warranty on a certified pre-owned mercedes-benz? what does it mean to drive as far as you want...
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welcome back to "new day." freedom at last for an american held captive in syria for almost two years. peter theo curtis was released by an al qaeda affiliate that captured him in 2012. president obama is meeting with defense secretary chuck hagel about how to neutralize the isis threat. chances for a cease-fire in the middle east hit ag roadblock this weekend. overnight israeli air strikes killed at least 16 people in gaza including a hamas financial leader. in the meantime, four israelis were wounded in mortar fire near the gaza border. karl penhaul is live in jerusalem with what is amounting to a violent weekend there.
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karl? >> reporter: absolutely, michaela. both sides continuing to trade fire. they rain down mortars on the border post, that's where four israelis were wounded. the israeli air strikes going into the gaza strip, among the casualties, more civilians, a mother and her three children were killed. also israel said it targeted a chief hamas financial operative. no word as to whether that happenive was, in fact, killed. there is a ray of hope, perhaps new cease-fire talks could be under way. the israeli government is giving no confirmation of that. we heard from palestinian source there is may be some kind of announcement from egyptian authorities as early as this evening. we don't know what the content of any seize fire proposal could be. >> a substantive cease-fire agreement couldn't come soon
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enough. karl penhaul with the latest. let's turn to california where people there are enduring dozens of aftershocks. the airport is open even though the air traffic control tower was damaged. most of the windows knocked out there. some 2200 power customers still do not have electricity, the 6.0 earthquake was the largest in the bay area since 1989. the first british ebola patient is being treated at a london hospital. the british health care worker was evacuated from sierra leone in a specially outfitted royal air force jet. his doctors are working to determine the best course of treatment now. in the meantime the democratic republic of congo has reported two deaths from the ebola virus. but a government spokesman says the deaths are from a different strain of the virus than the outbreak that has been caused in west africa. that is an interesting
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development and a concern because, again, we don't know -- we know how contagious -- how infectious the ebola virus is in west after kachlt. >> different strains are a concern. meanwhile, coming up on "new day," an american has been freed by terrorists less than a week after the gruesome murder of james foley. what was the difference between the two cases? we'll talk to an expert committed to the fight against terrorism. it can bring out the worst in people. but the m-class scans for danger,
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this morning american peter theo curtis is free after being released by an al qaeda affiliate in syria. in a few hours president obama will meet with defense secretary chuck hagel to discuss the growing threat from another extremist group in syria, isis, this coming as british investigators saying they are close to identifying the isis militant who killed another american captive james foley. harris, thanks so much for being with us. in just one week we have two
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stories with two such different outcomes. what happened to james foley in such a griz li way. why so different this time? >> in the region we have a number of dpeeting jihadi organizations. we have isis who claimed they've set up this so-called islamic state and the new front which is in essence al qaeda and the group from where isis originate. now, what we're seeing is that al qaeda are losing ground, losing a lot of ground to isis both in syria and iraq, and isis were the people we were bombing, the u.s. was bombing and the british was surprising arms to. actually held free the yazidis and other minorities within the iraqi region. they decided they would actually kill james foley in a gruesome, barbaric manner. peter curtis was held by al
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qaeda. what's interesting here is we're seeing a new dynamic, seeing that qatar was involved and has been involved with al qaeda in the region for a long time, and for sectarian reasons have been funding the group to actually take on the shia controlled regime in syria. we're seeing that qatar now is playing a very dangerous game of being an intermediary between the u.s. and its allies and al qaeda. although i'm very pleased and happy for the family of peter curtis that he's released and safe, there are another 20 -- approximately another 20 foreign nationals held as hostage, and i wonder if we're setting a dangerous precedent by negotiating with al qaeda terrorists. it's something that certainly we don't seem to have done in the past, and i'm just worried that we don't get into a situation where -- if you excuse my mixed metaphors, that we actually are
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caught between the devil and a hard rock where we seem to be supporting an organization, let's not forget, that did 9/11 and a number of other terrorist activities around the world and have not denounced those acts. we have to be very careful on how we make sure our journalists, our citizens are actually returned safely. >> haras, the family of theo curtis say that's were told no ransom was paid by anyone to release their family member, theo curtis. you suspect qatar gave up sing to al news rah in order to get this hostage released. >> of course, qatar, alongside saudi arabia and all the other countries in the region fear for their own safety. now i'm wondering whether they've decided they will actually try and help and fund al qaeda to actually try and fight isis in the region. that's very, very dangerous. although we may not have given
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money or finances, i wonder what other support qatar has promised them. what are the support in terms of either weapons or political support. qatar on behalf of the u.s. or anybody else, any of the western allies has promised the al qaeda front f. we have promised them something, we're actually, as a mentioned, a dangerous precedent, but also creating a problem for ourselves long term as well. >> harksaras, i think you have the mixed metaphor of the day but an apt one, caught between the devil and a hard place. as the family for michael brown prepares to lay him to rest, there's a growing amount of support for daryn wilson. will that community be torn apart if this officer is not charged with a crime? that's coming up. surprise! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you.
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welcome back to "new day." michael brown, junior, being laid to rest today, 16 days after being shot by police officer daryn wilson. brown's father has asked for a day of silence, a day of peace as he buries his son. now a growing amount of support for officer wilson. an online fund-raiser has so far raised over $300,000 in donations, surpassing donations even made for michael brown.
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so much to discuss with paul callan, cnn analyst. i know you were there in ferguson. why did you feel it was important to be there? >> this story for so many americans and myself has been heart-wrenching. i've been reporting on it both on radio and joining you guys. i just felt like i wanted to come here. i wanted to see the community, pay my respects to the family and pray for michael brown and his family and for peace moving forward. i thought it was important to come. >> i'm glad you're there and glad you're going to share with your radio crowd as well as the audience here your experience there. paul, sitting here with me in studio, we've been watching. i mentioned it during the intro, the support for officer brown is getting serious momentum, the fund-raising and also the fact that there was a rally and people are being very vocal. are you surprised by the amount of support? >> actually i've been surprised at the lack of support he's been getting previous to this.
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in big cities like new york, for instance, where we have a police force of over 35,000, there would be sort of an orchestrated campaign of support for him by the pba union and his attorney. in the case of darren wilson, his attorney hasn't returned phone calls. it's very unusual. usually you see the officer being portrayed in a more sem thetic light, we haven't seen that so far. >> mo, it's interesting. as the protests have gotten more subdued and more quiet and the protesters are not staying out as late, we're seeing the support rising for officer wilson and getting more vocal. are you concerned that that's going to spark a new round of angst there in the community? >> well, i think everything has been peaceful so far. i just really think it's about having the officers on the street and people remaining calm. i have seen a little bit of a contrast in sort of the terminology that's used between
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both parties because when people were out supporting michael brown, they were protesters. when people are out supporting officer wilson, they're supporters. we don't clearly at all see the police presence that we did during the michael brown protesting or supporting that we see for officer wilson. but i also think that as one dies down, another picks up. so we may see more activity for officer wilson as those begin to stay home around the michael brown situation and especially today. >> in fairness, mo, the press account i saw said there were 100 supporters of officer wilson publicly appearing. i don't think there was any rioting or attacks on stores or any disruption. so i'm not surprised. if those people turned violent in some way, as a small number of the protesters who we've seen earlier did, i think you'd see more of a police presence. >> i understand that. >> i want to move on to another
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point real quick. i want to talk about the governor. a lot of people are wondering what if the officer is not charged. our candy crowley spoke to governor nixon over the weekend. let's take a listen to what he had to say. >> have you considered the possibility this might have been a clean shoot or that the officer might not be charged by a grand jury? >> i think all of those things could happen, but the bottom line is our focus here is on making sure that the dual investigations, one by the local prosecutor and by the u.s. attorney general and the justice department move forward and that they're thorough. >> do you think, paul, it's likely that he could not be charged, the officer could not be charged in this? >> i think there's a substantial probability that that could happen. of course, we still don't know all the evidence in the case. we're really kind of seeing one side of the case. we haven't heard wilson's detailed account, nor have we heard if there are other witnesses who might support that
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account. i can tell you in most cases where lethal force is used by the police, the police officer is not indicted. so it would not be a surprising situation if he were not. of cows, we have the community concern. we have political issues. sometimes you know what a prosecutor says? i'm going to submit to it a jury for decision. that could happen in this case. >> final thought, mo, if the grand jury doesn't define michael brown's death a murder, what recourse does the family have? >> obviously the family will be devastated if something like that happens, as will the community and i can imagine the nation of people that have been supporting, and globally as well. they, of course, have the federal lawsuit to go after. they can continue working with the justice department and hope that something will happen there. and then, of course, there are the civil lawsuits that will come for wrongful death against the police department, against officer wilson. so there is other recourse. there is no recourse like having officer wilson arrested which again can happen any day that
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they want it to happen or the prosecutor deciding to indict himself and bring a charge. again, he does not need the grand jury in or dore bring a charge against officer wilson. >> mo ivory, glad you're in ferguson this morning. paul callan, always a pleasure. so much news this morning we're following. let's get right to it. an american held by islamic rebels in syria for almost two years has been reloosed. >> this is a group, they're not moderate but not as severely extreme as isis. the cleanup effort in napa continues this morning after sunday's earthquake. >> here at thompson vineyards we lost approximately 100 cases of library wine. >> we do think the aftershocks will continue for several weeks. ferguson, missouri, is preparing the remember mike brown for who he was.
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>> all i want is peace while my son is being laid to rest. good morning everyone. i'm alisyn camerota joined by john berman and michaela pereira: chris and kate are off this morning. president obama will huddle with top advisers to map out strategy to fight the war against isis, meeting with defense secretary chuck hagel amid increasing signs that they could have plans in the works to try to attack the united states. this comes as freedom is finally granted to an american held captive for almost two years in syria. meanwhile, officials in the uk are said to be making progress towards identifying the isis terrorists seen on video executing james foley. more now from senior international correspondent nick paton walsh in london. what's the latest, nick? >> reporter: details' merging about how peter theo curtis
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seemed to be released. a statement from his family saying they thanked the u.s. and qatari governments for negotiating, that it happened on humanitarian grounds and no money changed hands. potentially a fortunate offshooter of the u.s. and continued crackdown and gains against isis through air strikes that may now potentially continue in syria. the group holding peter theo curtis was also linked to al qaeda, they do occasionally rival isis in some of the battles on the syrian field. potentially this may have been a move by them to curry favor in the west. also, we know, too, of the difficult escape attempt that was made by peter theo curtis and his one-time american cell mate matt shria. theo got stuck in the window. matt agonized that he had to leave him behind but yesterday release add statement saying this is the happiest day of his life knowing that peter theo curtis is finally safe.
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>> i can only imagine the guilt he harbored until theo was free. nick paton walsh, thank you so much. the u.s. military said to be considering force against the, treatmentist group isis in syria. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff made it clear he is prepared to launch air strikes against isis leaders in syria if, and this is a big if, if there is a direct threat to the united states. actions being considered after the beheading of american james foley and as isis militants seized a key government base inside syria. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr has more this morning. good morning, barbara. >> good morning, john. if isis threatens the united states, what does that already mean? already labeled a terrorist attack t murder of james foley. the u.s. already striking isis targets, of course, for many days now inside iraq because it is said that they threaten u.s. interests in the region. most intelligence experts will tell you're sis right now does not pose a direct threat to the
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u.s. home land. they have no plans at the moment and no real capability to launch a major at dak against the united states inside this country. but still president obama trying to decide by all accounts whether to take that next step and strike isis inside syria, across that border inside syria. we've seen a lot of language out of the point gone in the last several days about all this. the reality is we do not know what the president will decide. hagel expected at the white house later today to discuss all of it if there were to be air strikes, a first step would be to step up reconnaissance flights over syria to get exact targeting intelligence on where isis is located. john? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thanks so much. i want to break this down a little more. joining us is phillip mudd, former cia counterterrorism official. phil, thanks so much for being with us. i want to take this in two parts. you heard barbara's reporting right there about isis, the
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notion of whether isis is a direct threat to the united states. first, in your opinion, is isis right now a direct threat to the u.s.? >> i'm hesitating my answer as yes for a simple reason. that is, when you're looking at a terror organization you break it down into capability and intent. what can they do? what do they want to do? they showed us intent already, they beheaded an american citizen and talked about america being a target. the capability question is interesting. you don't get terror organizations that have 100-plus americans who have gone overseas to fight with them, three, 400-plus british participating in the fight. that gives the group a capability to reach back into america that's substantial. i don't see how you can sit here and say there's not a threat. i'm not saying we can't handle it. i'm saying you can't as a practition practitioner, as a specialist, say they don't pose a threat. >> all this discussion that's apparently happening in the
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administration right now. if they're a threat, are they a threat, how much of a threat, you're already past that. you think they are and you think action needs to be taken. so let's break down this action. air strikes, what would air strikes do against isis in syria? >> a couple of things they would do. the first is to stop the fighting on the ground from isis. that is, do the same thing in syria we've seen in iraq, when isis is going after a military facility, you can hit the artillery, you can hit their trucks, whatever weapons they've stolen from the syrian military. i think there's a second more interesting question, john. that is do we have the intelligence to start mapping out what the command and control of isis is, not only the people involved in the military fight on the ground, but the people who might be involved in the segment of isis that could be recruiting and training foreign fighters from europe to the united states. we've seen air strikes against front line isis forces. we've got to see strikes against the back room, if you will, the command and control of isis.
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some of that has got to be in syria. >> do we you think we're losing the opportunity to strike back against isis right now? >> no, i don't. i suspect, by the way, that washington has already made the decision and behind the scenes they're trying to figure out how to execute strikes properly. having been there, this is really complicated. you're not only talking about what your first 50 or 100 strikes are, what are the subsidiary of strikes. do you have intelligence capability to follow isis once they start running to other locations? this is pretty complicated stuff. they 50e6 been at this for years in syria. we're 3 1/2 years into this fight. i think a day or two, a week or two doesn't make a huge amount of difference. i believe the administration has signaled not only intent but their will to go after isis and syria. i'd bet a paycheck that we'll see bombs lock and load on isis targets in syria. >> we'll hold you to that. the president sits down with defense secretary chuck hagel
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today. as you say, it is so complicated in that legion right now where so much going on. overnight or yesterday we had the release of theo curtis who had been held for two years there. a very different outcome than we saw with james foley. explain to me why you think we saw this different outcome. what was the key to getting theo curtis out alive? >> i think probably two keys. first we have the intermediaries, the qatari whose have been in this fight for a long time. in the middle of the revolution in egypt. good contacts with taliban. contacts with news rah, the group that held this hostage. billions of dollars of natural gas, trying to play on the global stage. remember, they also won the world cup. they are trying to position themselves with just a few hundred thousand citizens to become players on a global stage. i suspect they talked to them
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and said, look, you look bad if you kill him. let him go and we'll maintain our relationship with you which i'm sure involves weapon flows. the second and final thing i think is that they've been fighting with isis. they have a different ideological perspective than isis, and they might have said this release allows us to differentiate ourselves from people now viewed not only in the west but in the islamic world as brutal. i think that combination of the qatari intermediaries and the fact that news rah wants to differentiate itself might have been the contributing factor. >> it's hard for people to imagine that an al qaeda affiliate cares about public relations with the west. leave that for a second. does what qatari did, does that provide any kind of hope to get these other american hostages who may be held by isis released? >> maybe. that's what i've been thinking through this morning. 20 hostages there, the qataris
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have been there for a long time. i'm sure there's some, if not negotiation, some agreement they had with news rah. it might not be as simple as saying, hey, let me give you some money nor a hostage. they might have said if you want to ensure weapons flows like those who have gone through in past months or years, you ought to negotiate on issues like this. i think there's a chance that this open it is doors for motions. one of the questions is who owns which hostages. syria is a pea soup of opposition groups. some of them act sort of like gangs owning neighborhoods. i don't know how many they hold, but this might be a blueprint for a few of them. >> phil mudd, always great to have you with us. appreciate your insight. >> thank you. now to the aftermath of northern california's worst earthquake in 25 years. people in wine country dealing with dozens of aftershocks. the quake making a mess of downtown napa, as you can see there. it was so powerful even
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buildings retrofitted to withstand major tremors were damaged. thousands are still without power at this hour. schools in the area are closed today. napa's airport is open even though, as you might be able to see there, most of the windows of the air traffic control tower were shattered. dan simon is following all of this for us from napa. wow, it looks crazy behind you. what's the latest, dan? >> reporter: hi, alisyn, it's a disaster zone in downtown napa. you talked about the buildings being retrofitted. you see all these bricks on the ground. debris all over the place, the streets are blocked off. here we are 24 hours since the event, and the exact toll of all the devastation is still unknown. the cleanup effort in napa continues this morning while crews work to restore power to thousands left in the dark after sunday's earthquake. the first moments of the
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powerful quake caught on camera, rattling residents out of their sleep at 3:20 a.m. >> it's an earthquake. >> striking the bay area at a whopping 6.0 magnitude, the strongest felt here in 25 years. >> this just kept going and kept going and kept going. i felt like i was on a raft in the motion almost. >> reporter: in downtown napa, six miles southwest of the epicenter, historical buildings and homes sustained heavy damage. pieces of this courthouse and other structures crumbled to the ground. authorities reporting over 100 injuries including a young child seriously hurt when a fireplace collapsed. >> i was in shock to see people's homes, people's offices on the floor and crooked. to know that this is life changing. >> business owners in the famed wine country also reporting being hit hard. hundreds of gallons of wine spewing from a crack in this storage tank. >> a wine maker across the street from us, they were
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devastated. dozens and dozens of their barrels collapsed. >> reporter: fires broke out following the quake, destroying dozens of homes. broken water mains hampering firefighters' efforts to extinguish the flames. fire crews having no choice but to let these mobile homes burn to the ground. experts now warning residents of aftershocks. >> we think there's probably over 50 or 60 aftershocks now. the largest one being a magnitude 3.6. we do think the aftershocks will continue for several weeks. >> reporter: the napa valley wine industry, a $13 billion industry, they're still taking stock of all the damage. we know certain wineries definitely got hit hard. hopefully we'll get a better sense of that today. the immediate concern right now is getting the infrastructure taken care of. making sure there are no more gas leaks, repairing the waterlines and getting the power turned back on. alisyn? >> dan, thanks for the update. it's calm this morning in
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ferguson, missouri, as the family of michael brown prepares to say good-bye. three white house officials will attend the if you know lal in st. louis. it's been a little more than two weeks since the unarmed teenager was shot to death by a police officer. brown's death sparked days of unrest. at a rally sunday, brown's father said he wants just one thing on the day he buries his son. he wants peace. cnn's stephanie elam is life in st. louis with more. hi, stephanie. >> reporter: good morning, alisyn. they are expecting a big turnout today to say good-bye to michael brown. the church, this baptist church you see here behind us, it can seat 2,500 people in the sangtry and overthrow rooms can seat another 2,500. it's really warm here. expecting people to be back inside. school is back in sechlths right now the town who has been in so much turmoil for two weeks will have a time to focus on how he lived his life and be able to say good-bye to him.
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this is something that has been coming. there's been a lot of planning going into this. they are expecting many members of mike brown's family. they are also expecting several politicians and perhaps a couple of celebrities as well to show up here at the church when things get under way, around 9:30 local time this morning and should go for a couple of hours, allison. >> all right, stephanie. thanks so much for that update. i know you both will be on there covering michael brown's family today. >> things start around 10:30. we'll be watching it here on cnn. obviously a lot of headlines to get to today. the last known message from james foley has been released by his family. apparently foley composed a letter before he was executed by isis. in it he recounted memories with his family, discussing experiences with other captives. he asked another hostage that was being released to memorize the letter and relay the words to his family.
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he did that. all this as they say they're close to identifying the isis militant who beheaded foley. the hope for a cease-fire fading again. rockets landed in communities near the gaza border. no injuries were reported. this as palestinian officials say at least 16 people were killed by israeli air strikes sunday including a hamas financial leader. four israelis were hurt in a mortar strike near the gaza border. new this morning, russia says it plans to send another aid convoy to the eastern ukraine. the first convoy entered without authorization on friday to deliver aid. rebels paraded prisoners through the streets in donetsk. tomorrow ukrainian president petro poroshenko and russian president putin will meet with european officials to discuss the on going conflict. this was my sunday. south korea has won its third
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little legal world series championship. south koreans held on to an early lead, a sizable lead, 8-1 against chicago's jackie robinson west to win 8-4 despite a six-inning rally by chicago. the third little league world series win after back-to-back victories in 1984 and '85. proud day in chicago. they are honoring its home team with a homecoming parade on wednesday. can i give a shout-out to d.j. butler, number 1, the fellow they walked right before the last run. he was the tiniest little guy. he got up there, planted his feet and was there. >> big heart though. >> big heart. ten kids from the south side of chicago gaining the nation's attention, making us proud. well done, well done. >> i thought they had a chance with that late inning rally. they did not give up. >> tremendous amount of heart. >> made it a long way. >> they sure did. >> after the game, the best thing was after the game the south korean kids and the kids
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from chicago are shaking hands. >> here is the other thing, that's what it should be doing for kids, that's what should bring them together. >> shorts man ship. another little story, i love that some of the families were having trouble to come up with the finances for pennsylvania. current mlb stars stepped in and said no, we got to make this happen and helped them out. well done. all right. next on "new day," it's a day of mourning in ferguson, missouri, as we've been telling you, michael brown's family prepares to say good-bye. that teenager shot and killed by police, set to be buried today. we will speak with brown's pastor next.
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welcome back to "new day." there has been so much public unrest over the past two weeks in ferguson, missouri. this morning those debates will take a back seat, that's the hope, as michael brown's family lays their son to rest. the funeral services being held in st. louis. want to bring in somebody very special, pastor carlton lee, michael brown, senior's pastor from flood christian church. pastor lee is there attending the funeral for michael brown, junior. thank you so much for joining me, pastor. tell me a little bit about the
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preparations. looks like a fair amount of activity behind you there. >> yes, there is. behind me you can see the barricades are getting ready to go up right now. there's a lot of people starting to pull up, even as early as 6:30 central standard time. they're coming in early. >> you know michael brown, senior, very well. i know you probably had a chance to hear him speak very moving li and from a very emotional place at the rally, pleading for peace and tranquillity and quiet as he lays his son to rest. do you get a sense the community and the nation is going to hear that? >> yes. i think the community hears it loud and clear. i do believe that there will be peace. i don't believe -- i pray that the people do not come here to protest on today even through all the stuff we have heard, certain people, certain groups coming to protest. i pray that they don't show up to protest and we can respect
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michael brown, junior's life and reg see and respect the wishes of the father, to not come in to protest but to quom in to join in with the family on this somber but yet joyous occasion. >> that's important. hopefully people will understand today is not the day for that. how is dad doing? how is he doing today? >> you know, i have not talked to him today, but i was with him yesterday. we were together at the rally. we were together a few hours before church on sunday. dad is still in chicago and awe. he just can't believe it, but yet he's being strong for his other children because he wants to let them know, you know, hey, we're going to get through this together. and i admire him for those strong father qualities about him, i've always seen come out. and now during this tragedy i've seen them come out stronger than ever. i'm very, very proud of michael brown, senior. >> things have been peaceful
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mostly, emotions hopefully under control. do you feel like maybe there's a turning point now, maybe the movement will take a different direction? >> i would certainly hope so. however, i'm a realist. i really don't know the way it will come out. today i personally believe it may stir up people to relive that dreadful day. i hope it doesn't. really i hope it doesn't. that is my prayer. but from some of the people i've heard from in the community, they said pastor, i can't believe this, i think we're going to step backwards, is what they have conveyed to me. i'm hoping and praying that is not the case and that we can continue on with peace. >> i think that is all of our hope. pastor, i know this young man, 18-year-old teenager has become a symbol for much more than just one thing, if you will. he's become a symbol around the
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nation for a time we're living in, for frustration about inequality. he's become a symbol for so many things. whether you knew him as big mike, michael brown junior, what would you like to see his legacy be? >> i would like to see his legacy become the michael brown law, something we're tuflly in the process of working on. i'm not sure if i can disclose all the details of it because i'm not a lawyer. we would like to see a major change in the way that police handle certain operations and their tactics. we really want to see it. we know last week another kid was gunned down, shot six times, i believe, by two police officers near st. louis. it's becoming an epidemic. it's not just here in st. louis, not just a midwest thing. it is a nationwide thing. we want to see the mike brown law go in all over the country. >> on this day, pastor, what's your message to the community of
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ferguson. >> the message would simply just be we have a hope in christ and we have to view this as -- mike prophetically declared i'm going to be a legend. i agree with him. he is definitely a legend. he's a legend and he's the new voice of the civil rights movement, the new face of the civil rights movement. i don't want the community to let his life and legacy go down in vain. i want to also encourage all fathers to be a part of his children's life mike mike brown senior was, very active in all his children's lives. i would like to see fathers step up to the plate and be that father figure for their children. >> i certainly am glad you are there to support the family on this very, very difficult day. it sounds like they are going to be at capacity. the church holds 2,500 people, 2,500 seats of overflow because many people are coming out in support of the brown family. pastor, thank you for joining us today.
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our thoughts are with you and the family as they lay michael brown to rest. >> thank you so much. we'll take a short break on "new day." up next, president obama back in washington facing a critical decision about this growing threat from isis. will the u.s. combat the terror group in syria? we have experts here to weigh in. also, a tropical storm gaining some strength in the atlantic. could it turn into a hurricane? we'll track it with the latest forecast coming up. than a powerful ride. and you can get that in places you might not expect. like the passat. and also in the fun-to-drive jetta. in fact, volkswagen has sold more turbos than any other brand over the last ten years. that is a lot of turbo. get a $1,000 reward card on new 2014 turbo models or lease a 2014 passat s for $189 a month after $1,000 bonus. ends soon!
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welcome back to "new day," an american held captive in
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syria for almost two years finally free. peter theo curtis had been held by an affiliate of al qaeda. his release comes as officials in the uk are working to identify the masked terrorists seen on video executing james foley. president obama is meeting this morning with defense secretary chuck hagel as they try to figure out how to eliminate the ice sis threat. quake rattled people in california's wine country now assessing the damage. they are dealing also with dozens of aftershocks. the governor of california has declared a state of emergency, napa valley schools remain closed today. but the airport -- interestingly the airport is open even though all the windows on the air traffic control tower were blown out in sunday's 6.0 magnitude quake. pge has restored power to most customers. only about 150 customers left without electricity. doing quick work there. in libya tensions are rising after an islamist-led militia
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seized tripoli's air traffic. most international carriers suspended flights in and out of libya. the airport had previously been under control of moderate militias who took control three years ago during the libyan revolution which toppled long-time dictator moammar gaddy fi. another security breach at brooklyn bridge, police arrest ag thrill seeker after he took a stroll on the bridge's suspension beams. the 24-year-old was charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. he was able to get past security which has been on high alert since trespassers got up there and replaced the bridge's flags last month. this time they spotted him, got him down, under arrest. >> i guess that high alert is fairly relative if you're able to sneak by. >> they need to redouble their
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doubling. word this morning that cease-fire talks in the middle east have hit a wall. a new wall. this news comes following escalating violence in the region. overnight israel claimed rockets landed in communities near the gaza border. this coming as palestinian officials claimed 16 people were killed in israeli air strikes on sunday including a hamas financial leader. karl penhaul following these developments live from jerusalem. good morning, karl. >> good morning, john. we're told that gaza militant factions have fired more than 150 rockets towards israel in the last 24 hours. that led israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu to vow that hamas will pay a high price for these actions. that is what is fueling the fire that's being traded on either side right now. in the israeli air strikes, for example, civilians have also been killed, at least 16
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according to palestinian authority including a mother and her three children. on the israeli side, a mortar attack by hamas on the border crossing that is now closed until further notice. but there is a glimmer of hope. we're hearing from some of the palestinian groups quoting unnamed sources that there may be an announcement from egyptian authorities about a new cease-fire proposal. that could come as early as today. no confirmation right now from the israeli government. john? >> hard to see where that talk will succeed whether the others have failed. karl penhaul in jerusalem, thank you so much. >> a tropical storm forming off the atlanta coast, expected to impact the eastern u.s. get your raincoat ready. let's get to meteorologist indra petersons for more. yesterday with cristobal, half of the models saying it was
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going to pull offshore. like alisyn said, it is expected to strengthen into a category one hurricane. finally the models are in agreement, the agreement we were hoping for, they will be pulling this off the coastline, still strengthening and there will still be impacts along the western seaboard. the dome of high pressure got so strong, it will yank this guy off the coast. still heavy rain, if you have plans in the bahamas, even a foot of rain will be there. keep in mind we have this last weekend, plus labor day, right before labor day. a lot of people heading off the coastline. still talking about large waves along the coastline even though the system is this far away. the bigger concern the going to be all these strong rip currents, still talking about moderate and even high rip currents, as high up as the mid atlantic here. that's what we'll be focusing on as so many people are still lying on the beaches. way out in the pacific, category 5 yesterday, today category 4. so rare. this system is so big that very
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large waves, talking 10 to 15 feet are going to be out there in southern california. talking about destruction to piers and beach front homes. that is something we'll be monitoring from tuesday to thursday. they don't see category 4, category 5 strength out. there weakening, but still. >> thanks for keeping an eye on it. next on "new day," president obama's strategy session. he's meeting with top advisers on the battle against isis. how far is he willing to go. miley cyrus, the twirkversary. the most poignant moment of the vma awards show. is this the moment you need to see?
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president obama is back in washington and faces a critical decision. should the u.s. strike isis inside syria? republican lawmakers are putting pressure on the president, calling on him to lay out his plans for combating the militant group. the push for increased action comes in the wake of the be heading of american james foley. let's debate all this with mark lamb month hill, cnn political commentator and host of "huff post live" and kevin maddon. thanks so much for being here. >> good morning. >> let's start with something senator john mccain said about the president's beckless strategy on the sunday shows. >> this is an administration which the kindest word i can use is fekless where they have not outlined a role that the united states of america has to play and that's a leadership role. no more leading from behind, no more don't do stupid stuff.
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>> marc, feckless. is the president feckless. >> i think we all thought they played a marginal role in syria, thought iraq was not a big a factor in their plan as it actually was. he's made miscalculations. the idea was to hand the reins over to iraq to allow them to defend themselves. we've seen that's not doable. >> kevin, what the president talked about is pushing back isis, not necessarily obliterating them. >> right. i think that's what's crucial for the president right now. many of the folks on capitol hill like john mccain, even critics and supporters don't really have a good idea of what the president's overall long-term comprehensive strategy s. members of his own cabinet have said that isis presents an immediate threat to american national security interests. so given it's an immediate threat what is the president going to do to eliminate that
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threat? it seems like the current actions that he's taken right now are designed to just contain that threat. i think the president has to worry about some folks up on cap hole hill, both his critics and supporters. but he also has to take a message to the american people and convince them he has a long-term strategy in the interest of the american people. >> i think he does, kevin. >> how do you define that long-term strategy that he has laid out? >> i think the first step is containment. targeted airstrikes actually do work. they're not a comprehensive strategy. targeted airstrikes in ultimately syria, you will need boots on the ground but you need to arm kurds and strengthen. >> marc, he's pushed back the convoys with the air strikes. they're still taking whole provinces. >> more airstrikes are necessary. expanding the airstrikes is necessary. to do that, you need more people on the ground, not boots on the ground in terms of military presence, more security forces,
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et cetera. you also need to get at the source of isis, find out who is funding them, private saudi money. we see the training camps in jordan. all these things need to be addressed first before we deal with military strikes. >> kevin, if there's anything that should warrant an international coalition it's fighting isis. do you think the president is working sort of back channels to get saudi arabia and jordan on board? >> well, if we have -- if he does, we haven't seen much evidence of that. right now i think the president -- even folks within his own party would say the president seems very disconnected from this crisis right now and that he hasn't really worked -- folks on cal toll hill who will be crucial to building support, he hasn't spoken directly enough to the american public. marc has probably laid out a better plan than the president has and he hasn't taken that -- whatever plan he has, he hasn't convinced the american people it's in their long-term interest that we do take expanded action
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in the region. so we haven't really seen much of an international coalition being built around this. >> that i would like to see. i would like to see a greater international coalition. i don't want to see the united states with another occupation of iraq. we need a more robust international intervention and get at the root through founding through stopping the training camps. i don't want us to overstate the amount of power that isis has in terms of western security threats. they don't have the resources even probably to defeat the kurds in the north, certainly not to win the south and definitely not to get to the united states. i'm not saying we shouldn't care about it. >> marc, they did assassinate an american. even national security adviser ben rhodes -- dep any national security adviser, is, quote, a terrorist attack against our citizens because they beheaded james foley, an america. >> absolutely, we need to address that. we need to address it as an insurgency.
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also, we don't want to be goated into what they want, a boots on the ground situation on the ground. we have to respond to the tragic death of foley but we can't allow that to take us off course. >> you think we're playing into isis's hands if we send more boots on the ground? >> i don't know. i'm not a military expert. i think the bigger problem we have is the president seems more willing to promote a plan that is just limited to containment of the isis threat than he is developing a long-term comprehensive plan to eliminate it. right now isis controls more territory in that region of the middle east than the size of england. that is a very serious concern. is it enough of a concern that he is going to take a much more expanded military action? he hasn't really laid out enough of a plan or strategy that's designed to take that problem on. >> marc, very quickly, what do you think about the image of the president smiling and laughing on the golf course the same day
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that we learned about james foley? that was tone deaf. >> it was tone deaf. president obama hasn't always hit that empathy button the way we'd like to see. i don't think it's a practical matter that it has any consequence. >> is he disconnected? >> i think in general the president doesn't empathize whether it's ferguson, fall luge gentleman, iraq. the president doesn't always have that intuitive thing that we often saw with bill clinton and maybe george w. bush. he has a strategy on the ground and that is more important than the optics which i think we overstate sometimes. >> kevin maddon, mark lamb month hill, thanks so much. beyonce was the queen of the vmas, strutting her stuff for close to 20 minutes. miley cyrus pulled off a very powerful moment herself. which superstar stole the show? all the highlights you need to see.
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♪ i just close my eyes thank you, all. my name is jesse, and i am accepting this award on behalf of the runaways and youth in the united states who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now. i know this because i'm one of these people. >> how about that? one of the many surprises at sunday's vmas, where miley cyrus used her win to raise awareness for homeless youth. many watching to the end got to catch beyonce's blockbuster performance. it was her daughter, blue ivy,
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who stole the show. then there was also a special moment of silence for michael brown. let's break it down with my ch -- with nichell turner. >> can we talk about the miley moment? surprising a lot of people. >> leave is to miley cyrus to go from -- leave to miley cyrus to go from worst to first. in twitter she was twerking with robin thick. last night she delivered what was arguably the best part of the vmas when she sent this young man, jesse, a homeless teenager himself to the stage to accept her award for her. and also to educate the crowd and the viewers at home about the statistics on homeless youth in america. i thought it was really, a really nice moment. i thought it was a touching moment. and i applaud her for that because i really think that she
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actually felt like she needed to redeem herself a little from the debacle that was the twerk fest or whatever you call it -- >> it was interesting. she knew that everyone would be watching her, and that's how show chose to seize this moment when she knew the spotlight would be on her. i thought it was remarkable. >> unpredictable. >> yeah, interesting. it's interesting, too, because it wasn't only in her actions. look at the way she was dressed. if you look at the way she was dressed last year, she had crazy knots on her head, no clothes on. this year it's a demure miley, pretty. she's classy -- she looked classy. so i think it was really an interesting choice for her. i mean, maybe she's trying to turn a page. >> speaking of managing optics, if you will, the night belonged to only one lady last night. >> i know where you're going. >> yes. you'll get there. let's give beyonce her due right now. she onwned it last night. >> absolutely. [ cheers ]
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♪ broken love >> equality of the sexes. [ applause ] >> how about that? and then this moment when jay and blue ivy came up on stage. she collapse. look at how precious. my goodness. is that forever putting things to rest about any rumors that might be circulating out there? >> well, you know, i don't know if it's going to put it to rest because we are rabid dogs at times when it comes to celebrities, and especially this couple. i think that it went a long way. do i think that it was orchestrated to kind of trot your family out? yes. but i thought it was also a nice moment. i thought blue ivy stole the show. clapping her hands and screaming, "yay, mommy," and bopping to her mother's music. i thought it was a nice moment. i'm one of those -- call me pollyana -- i drink the kool-aid where these guys are concerned. i believe that they're staying together. mikhail awe've had this conversation before -- mikayla,
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we've had this conversation before. i never did believe the break young people rumors. she was trying to make a statement. she brought her family out, kissed her husband on the mouth, which we never see from them. she also gave us 20 minutes of pure vintage beyonce like no one else could do it. >> last and absolutely, we can not have a vma -- >> not the jaundiced, cynical look. >> tomorrow -- >> we believe. >> we can't end this segment without talking about an almost wardrobe malfunction at a music awards show. how is that possible? >> okay, first of all, if i'm talking about orchestrated, i think that nicki minaj takes the crown for -- >> really? >> yes. this is what she said backstage after this moment. we're showing the moment where she's on stage, and all of a sudden she's clutching her dress like, oh, boy, what happened here. she says backstage, "we ran out of time to zip the dress up." she went out with her dress zipped down? come on, come on!
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>> listen, i'm a fan of super bass nicki, not so much anaconda nicki. she did it before. i think she's getsing into the gimmick a little bit. i don't know -- >> strange. >> seems odd. >> i could have done without it. by the way, they're wrapping me, but i could have done without a lot of the show, i don't know about you. the audio problems throughout the show. i don't think it was a great mtv vmas. >> yeah. look, you got a busy, busy week for you. you've got the primetime emmy awards tonight. >> i do. >> you'll be following that fleas. can we talk about it tomorrow? >> if you would like, i am at your service. >> get a good nap this afternoon. appreciate it. always great to have you with us. next up on "new day," california wine country enduring its worst earthquake in 25 years. the pictures really are amazing. we're going to go live to napa for the latest.
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breaking this morning, cleanup underway in california after the biggest earthquake in 25 years rocks the bay area.
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the 6.0-magnitude earthquake inflicting dodge napa's historic downtown. we're live with the recovery effort. also breaking, american peter theo curtis held hostage in syria for two years is free. investigators say they're close to identifying the isis terrorist who beheaded another american captive, james foley. cnn exclusive. our don lemon speaks with three mothers who share a unique and tragic bond. their sons, trayvon, sean, and michael. a look at the women who share something no parent wants to bear as the ferguson community prepares to lay michael brown to rest. your "new day" continues right now. good morning, everyone. welcome back to "new day." it is monday, all 25th, 8:00 in the east. 5:00 a.m. out west. i'm john berman.
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john berman -- i know how to say that. >> freudian slip. >> joined by allison which somehow i can say without screwing up. chris and kate are off. and california is waking up. good morning to you out, there as the bay area and napa valley start to clean up from the area's worst earthquake in 25 years. people there also dealing with dozens of aftershocks. 100 homes were condemned. the power is finally back on for most customers. schools in the area closed today. napa's airport is open, even look at this -- most of the windows in the air traffic control tower shattered. dan simon is on the street there. you see the rubble behind him. he has the latest. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, john. it's a mess here in downtown napa. you see the building behind me, these brick just crumbled to the ground. i tell you what, it's a good thing the earthquake happened at 3:20 in the morning. on the bottom is an outdoor
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cafe. you can imagine what would have happened if you had people on the sidewalk eating or sort of lingering. here we are, it's been 24 hours since the earthquake occurred, and we're just beginning to get a full extent of the devastation. the cleanup effort in napa continues this morning while crews work to restore power to thousands left in the dark after sunday's earthquake. [ crashing ] >> reporter: the first moments of the powerful quake caught on camera. rattling residents out of their sleep at 3:20 a.m. >> hey, hey -- >> it's an earthquake! >> reporter: striking the bay area at a whopping 6.0 magnitude. the strongest felt here in 25 years. >> this kept going and kept going. i felt like i was on a raft in the ocean almost. >> reporter: in downtown napa, just six miles southwest of the epicenter, historical buildings and homes sustained heavy damage. pieces of this courthouse and other structures crumbled to the
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ground. authorities reporting over 100 injuries including a young child seriously hurt when a fireplace collapsed. >> i of in shock to see people's homes, people's offices on the floor. and crooked and to know that this is life changing. >> reporter: business owners in the famed wine country also reporting being hit hard. hundreds of gallons of wine spewing from a crack in this storage tank. >> a winemaker across the street, they were devastated. dozens and dozens of barrel collapsed. >> reporter: fires broke out following the quake, destroying dozens of homes. broken water mains hampering firefighters' efforts to extinguish the flames. fire crews having no choice but to let these mobile homes burn to the ground. experts warning residents of aftershocks. >> we think that there's probably over 50 or 60 aftershocks now. the largest one being a magnitude 3.6. we do think the aftershocks will continue for several week.
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>> reporter: and folks here can only hope that we don't see too many more of those aftershocks. in the meantime here in downtown napa, the cleanup is going to begin here today. this is going to take obviously several days, if not weeks, to get all these streets cleaned up. but right now the immediate concern, of course, is the infrastructure. john, you talked about the power. it's coming back on. there are about 2,000 customers still without power, and crews are going to be looking at the gas lines and, of course, trying to repair all those wraux. john? >> a -- water main breaks. john? >> a lot of work to do. you see it behind you. thank you very much. now to the effort against isis kicking into high gear in the oval office. president obama is back from his vacation and is meeting with defense secretary chuck hagel today about the terror group. the meeting comes a day after peter theo curtis, an american held captive in syria for almost two years, was finally granted his freedom. official in the u.k. are working to identify the masked terrorist seen executing james foley here
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a week ago. multiple reports see three more americans remain in enemy hand. senior international correspondent nick paton walsh has more from london. what's the latest? >> reporter: that washington meeting today will, of course, focus on whether or not the u.s. should take the fight against issues sis not only in iraq but -- isis not only into iraq but syria. hard to tackle them if you don't hit them in syria, too. that release of peter theo curtis yesterday perhaps a one moment of good news because of the crackdown against isis. he was held by another al qaeda affiliate, a group called terrorists by the united states. they perhaps let him if because they wanted during the onslaught against isis to perhaps appear a more moderate alternative e ivie west. after a week of heror, some good news -- horror, some good news. an american held hostage in
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syria is free. 45-year-old peter theo curtis, freelance author and journalist, released sunday after being held by the syrian rebel group with ties to al qaeda. his family thanking the governments of the u.s. and qatar for their effort, while the u.s. has denied involvement and details about his release on unclear. curtis was handed over to united nations piece keepers in the goal an -- peacekeepers in the golan heights who released him to american officials. these videos show curtis during his last few months in captivity. in this video, a rebel points a gun at his head while curtis speaks rapidly as if under duress. curtis was captured near the syrian/turkey border in october, 2012, and held in aleppo with american journalist matthew shre shreyer. he broke free through a window with curtis' help. curtis, however, got stuck trying to escape. >> i'm pulling and pulling him
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as hard as i could. we weren't making headway. we were making too much noise. the window were open and lights above me, the sun was coming up. >> you must have known that you had to leave him. >> yeah. yeah. it was one of the hardest things i've ever had to do. i'm not going to have closure until he's home. >> reporter: the release comes five days after iris released a video of one of its militants beheading american journalist james foley. sunday his parents releasing a letter on facebook that they say he composed in captivity. highway talked about sharing one cell with 17 others and playing games made up of scraps they found. foaly had a fellow hostage memorize the letter, dictating it to his family upon release. british officials close to identifying the isis militant responsible for the beheading. experts say he speaks with a distinctly british accent. investigators making headway using clues in the video to pinpoint the killer out of hundreds of british muslims who joined isis. >> we're putting a great deal of
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resource into identifying this person. i think we're not far from that. >> reporter: now in this case, we have heard from matt schreyer said he thought the happy of the day of his life is when he heard that curtis had finally been released. a man racked by guilt, that terrible decisionly had to make when he got -- he had to make when he got out and couldn't bring curtis with him. >> thank you. >> you heard nick mention the united states military mulling the idea of hitting isis with air strikes in syria. the white house saying it is "ready to take action against any threat to the united states." syria says it is ready to accept support from the united states to fight terrorists. this message coming as isis militants gain more ground in syria including a key government air base. barbara starr is hare with more developments. good morning.
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>> reporter: good morning. the capture by isis of the key syrian air base gives them broader control across northern syria. a growing concern, of course. the decision now by all accounts is whether president obama will authorize air strikes inside syria. already happening against issue sis, of course -- isis, of course, inside iraq. as for syria, the question for the white house, the pentagon, is what threat does isis pose to u.s. interests in the region. what we're told is if, if the president makes a decision to go ahead with air strikes against isis positions in syria, look for it to be the -- the targets to be troop formations, training camps, leadership targets, all of that. but those targets often move. so the very first step will have to be sending reconnaissance flights over syria. they will have to look for the real-time intelligence, exactly where those positions are, before they could enact air strikes. john?
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>> interesting to see when they begin that process. barbara starr, thank you very much. all right. let's bring in cnn's military analyst to talk about all of this. major general james "spider" marks. great to see you. >> good morning. >> let's start with theo curtis. how do you think qatar was able to get american theo curtis released from syria? >> i think a couple of things probably occurred. the united states was supportive of their efforts, much like they brokered the deal for sergeant bergdahl and his release. the difference here is that i hope that the united states -- i would have to assume that the united states did not pay any ransom. that would be in a direct contravention to any of our best interests. ransom money in support of terrorist organizations goes directly -- it's absolutely unequivocal -- goes directly toward future funding and enhanced capability of the terrorist organizations. so certainly the united states has a projectsy in the region
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and can -- proxy in the region and can do what i would call influence actions so we can have these positive outcomes, and the united states can keep its hands off. >> yes. the u.s. has the policy of never paying ransom money. does qatar have the capability? might they have paid ran son? >> they might have. the french do as matter of raw teen. it goes to the bottom -- routine. goes to the bottom line in funding future terror organizations. if the united states was involved in a negotiation from -- by uses qatar as a proxy, i would hope it wouldn't be one of the conditions. >> let's move on to fighting isis. general martin democratsy said this this weekend about this, he said that he would not recommend u.s. military air strikes against isis until he determines if they have become a direct threat to the u.s. isn't executing an american on camera and releasing that video a direct threat to the u.s.? >> yeah. i think we've reached the point
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-- i agree with you that the united states has reached the point where isis could be described as existential, a threat to the united states. including -- this was the first act of terrorism by isis directly against the united states when they beheaded james foley. so i'd say we're well beyond the point of this being a direct threat. clearly isis has capability, funding, it has intentions, it is absolutely ungoverned in its execution of what it sees as its -- the creation of its cal fate. the united states should as a matter of routine now be conducting operations in syria. air strikes in syria against very precise targets. >> so you are in favor of air strikes. what about -- as you've heard, i'm sure, from all of your military colleagues, that won't necessarily do the trick. and there are going to be some boots on the ground. so is that where we're headed? >> well, it won't do the trick. let's define "the trick." what it's going to do is give
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iraq some capability to achieve some distance and some time so it can bolster its capabilities. the kurds are having some success up north. isis has to be -- it's not going to be destroyed. what we need to do now is just stop what they are doing. and the united states' efforts are contributing mightily toward that. it needs to go -- the united states needs to go after those targets in syria. we need not ask permission. we need to do. it and we can gather the good intelligence. we have standing intelligence collection requirements to go after targets in syria. we can collect those, precisely identify them. and we can go after those targets. this is not unlike operation allied force back in 1999 when we went after the former republic of yugoslavia. it ended up deposing milosevic. we need to have a persistent campaign that allows the united states and its allies in the region to achieve some time see that the -- if the united states steps up as it is and consistently do this, regional
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partners will be inclined to support. and it could lead to boots on the ground, and i'm not suggesting those would be u.s. boots at this point. >> all right. we will find out later today and continue to debate whether president obama has the vision for that persistent campaign that you have laid out. general, thanks. great to see you. >> thanks. >> all right. let's go over to mikayla. >> time for a look at our headlines. 14 minutes past the hour. we've learned that cease-fire talks in the middle east have made no progress. this comes as violence rocked the region overnight. israel claims rockets landed in communities near the gaza border but that no one was hurt. meanwhile, palestinian officials say at least 16 people were killed by israeli air strikes sunday including a hamas financial leader. four israelis were hurt in a mortar strike near the gaza border. new, russia's foreign minister says another aid convoy will be sent to eastern ukraine later this week. the first convey entered ukraine without authorize friday to deliver aid. the meantime, rebels paraded
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prisoners through the street of d donesk. the crowd hurled bottles and insults at captured soldiers. a security scare forced a flight from dallas to san diego to make an emergency landing in phoenix sunday. a series of tweets mentioning explosives targeted a sony executive aboard flight 362 and forced the plane to divert. 179 passengers and six crew members eventually reboarded and landed safely in san diego. remembrances are pouring in this morning for acclaimed hollywood legend. oscar-winning director and actor richard attleborouthe gentlema ro uh has died. -- richard attenborough has died.
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he appeared in "injure as park" as the developer. in 198 it he won an academy award for directing "gandhi." his son said he hoad been in por health for some time before he died. he was 90 years old. >> he spent years getting funding for "gandhi" and finally said, "i'll produce it myself." >> he did a lot of work behind the scenes for muscular dystrop dystrophy. >> nice, long life he had. next up, michael brown will be laid to rest today. this as a grand jury will decide whether the officer who shot him should face charges. we'll speak with the family's lawyer ahead. ♪ [ male announcer ] since we began, mercedes-benz has pioneered many breakthroughs. ♪ breakthroughs in design... breakthroughs in safety... in engineering... and technology.
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19 minutes past the hour. welcome back to "new day." after two week of protests and unrest in ferguson, michael brown is finally being laid to rest this morning at an emotion emotional -- morning. at an emotional rally sunday, brown's father said the one thing today he wants as his buries his son is peace. we're joined by benjamin crump, attorney for the family, and in st. louis. i understand it's going to be at capacity, the friendly missionary baptist church there. 2,500 in the church. 2,500 expected in the overflow area. it sounds like a big crowd is coming up to celebrate the life and legacy of michael brown. >> yes, ma'am. >> you've had a chance to be with the family.
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how are they doing? how are they hoping that he will be remembered? >> well, primarily they are trying to get through this day. this is obviously a -- an emotional day. this is the day when it really sets in, when you have to put your child in the ground, and you realize that he's not coming back ever again. and i think so many people are coming out here to support this family because he has become symbolic of a lot of pain and frustration that people of color all around america know all too well when it comes to senseless gun violence and police brutality. >> some of that pain and frustration has led people to the streets to say we won't stand it, we want to fight for equality in that community and beyond, people from around the region to make their voices heard. michael brown sr. gave a very emotional speech calling for
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peace in ferguson today. do you think the community will hear him on that? >> i think so. he and michael's brother, leslie, have asked that people be peaceful while they lay their son to rest in peace. and i think everybody will respect the wishes of the family, all the supporters. that's very important, michaela, that we see these are supporters -- the media has a way of labeling them protesters and the people who support their killer and son as supporters. these are supporters, people who have children of color, who worry greatly that this could happen to their child. they are coming out, saying we want this family to know we stand with you. so they will follow the lead of the family. >> let's talk about the supporters. they came out in droves over the weekend. a rally held by the naacp. there were police officers that led that protest. does it feel as though ferguson
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has turned a counter corner? >> i think ferguson -- turned a corner? >> i think ferguson is symbolic of many cities in america that they want people to know, they want people to hear their voice and say you can't keep doing this to our children. and the question is, how loud do we have to scream before we don't have another michael brown? before we don't have another trayvon martin, and we can say our children shouldn't be profiled, our children should be treated as children. >> you talk about those children, trayvon, michael, we had the mother of sean bell on earlier with our don lemon. they are a part of -- a tragic crowd of people that have buried their sons due to gun violence in their communities. in the case of many criminal investigations, the character of the victim is often questioned. how do you counsel the family, the parents of michael brown as this happens? they call it character assassination. how do you counsel them in their
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time of grief on the day that they're laying their son to rest to handle hearing those comments? >> you know, i've been doing this for a while. all these cases i've done, police 101. the first thing they do is try to blame the victim and attack the victim when they can't justify the -- killing the unarmed young man. so what i tell the parents is, mike is gone, you have to be his voice. and so when you hear this character assassination, you have to know that they're trying to do that because they don't want people to concentrate on that sad afternoon where your son was executed. that's what i tell them. we've got to stay focused because if we stay focused we will keep everybody else focused. that's the key -- focussing in on what happened and why did this police officer execute this child in broad daylight.
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>> and today the focus should be on the coming home where he is laid to rest, the funeral, the public memorial. what are you expecting out of today, mr. crump? >> i think it's going to be very emotional. michael brown's tragedy has become symbolic, not just for ferguson but internationally. so a lot of people are going to talk about the reality that this is a young man, 18-years-old, cut down just as he was becoming a man. and then talk about the larger picture of how do we turn this tragedy into triumph and make something so negative become something positive that will give a legacy for michael brown and ferguson. >> first we start with the funeral service for an 18-year-old. benjamin crump, thank you for joining us. i know it's a busy day for you. we send our thoughts, best wishes, and prayers to the
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family of michael brown today, okay? >> thank you. god bless. >> and you, as well. we'll take a short break here on "new day." coming up, we're going to hear exclusively from michael brown's mother. as i mentioned, the mothers of trayvon martin and the mother of sean bell about losing their sons to violence. it is a story you don't want to miss. their heart wrenching stories. >> focus on the good times, focus on when he was smiling. focus on his first day of school. you focus on christmas day and things like that. way to "plus" our're lookina accounting firm's mobile plan. and "minus" our expenses. perfect timing. we're offering our best-ever pricing on mobile plans for business. run the numbers on that. well, unlimited talk and text, and ten gigs of data for the five of you would be... one-seventy-five a month. good calculating kyle. good job kyle. you just made partner. our best-ever pricing on mobile share value plans for business.
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soon. isis has gained control of the key military base in northeastern syria. the group has completely taken over the entire province. syria's government says it is willing to work with the u.s. to stop terrorists. michael brown will be laid to rest today in missouri. community organizers in ferguson have issue aid two-day call for ax -- issued a two-day call for action including a student walkout on what would have been brown's first day of college. people in wine country in california now enduring dozens of aftershocks. schools are closed. power is back on, though, for the majority of people. the chances of a cease-fire in the leave v hit awol amid a -- in the area have hit a wall. four israelis were injured in a mortar strike. we always update the five
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things. visit cnn.com for the latest. >> always. next up, is sis taking over key parts of syria. should the united states do mother nature to stop the militant was gaining even more ground? plus, on the day michael brown is laid to rest, we speak exclusively to his mother, as well as two other women who also lost their sons to violence. their emotional, powerful interview ahead. you can get a $1,000 turbocharged reward card with a new volkswagen turbo. so why are we so obsessed with turbo? because there's nothing more exhilarating than a powerful ride. and you can get that in places you might not expect. like the passat. and also in the fun-to-drive jetta. in fact, volkswagen has sold more turbos than any other brand over the last ten years. that is a lot of turbo. get a $1,000 reward card on new 2014 turbo models or lease a 2014 passat s for $189 a month after $1,000 bonus. ends soon! having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up truck slams into your brand new car.
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welcome barks everyone. this morning, president obama set to meet with advisers to discuss the growing threat from isis in syria. overnight the group took control
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of a major air base. all this as american peter theo curtis is now free after being held captive by an al qaeda affiliate in syria for two years. joining us is clark kent irvin, former inspector general for the office of homeland security. he's director of the aspen institute's homeland security program and partner at the law firm of squire, patton, boggs. thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure, john. >> the news we got overnight is about there air base in syria, the topka air force base, a key base in the region of syria, falling to these isis militants. seems this group is like a -- you cut off one head maybe in iraq, two more grow in its place. they seem to be spreading in syria. what can be done to stop their -- their advances? what should be done in your mind? >> right. well, there's no question but that isis is a huge concern for the united states and a growing one. they controlled huge swaths of territory in iraq and syria. they captured the third military
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air base, underscores their military prowess. there are about 2,500 westerners, of whom there are about 100 or so americans who have gone to train and fight with them. just a plane ride away from the united states, as the chairman of the house intelligence committee said yesterday. so what should we do about it? i think it's past time for us to conduct air strikes in syria. it appears as though the president is inching toward that. i think that won't be sufficient, though. i think we'll need boots on the ground. that's not to say another large-scale invasion, of course. but i think we'll see an increase in the number of special operations forces, both in iraq and ultimately in syria. we've got to get better intelligence. our intelligence is hampered by the withdrawal from iraq. and by -- by our relatively light footprint to date in terms of intelligence in syria. and there's the snowden backlash, as well, which means that our signals intelligence in that part of the world has been ratcheted back. it's a huge concern. >> you mention that phrase, "boots on the ground," illustrating special forces might be on the ground in syria. a very different situation in syria than it is in iraq. in iraq at least you have a
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government tolerant if not actually a u.s. ally there. the kurds are certainly u.s. allies. in syria, who is the ally? the united states says they still want bashar al assad to be gone. wouldn't special forces be caught between opposing forces there? >> well, it's a good question, john. i think it raises the larger question of whether there should be a tacit and covert alliance between the united states and assad now. i mean, one of the problems in the middle east is that there are -- there's no black and white. there's a lot of gray in that region. and as between threats, it seems to me that the assad regime is less of a threat to american interests, to western interests now, than isis. and so i think we're going to see precisely that alliance developing with the assad government. ironically enough. >> i don't want to let that pass. you said a remarkable thing, especially for one year to when the united states was considering air strikes against the assad regime in syria. now you are suggesting a tacit
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alliance with bashar al assad to defeat isis. >> i think that's exactly right. it goes to show how -- i think how ill-timed and ill-conceived our policy has been in that part of the world. i've generally been a supporter of the foreign policy, but i think it was a huge mistake on the part of the administration not to have conducted air strikes, not to have armed the rebels in a really robust way early, two or three years ago, when the fight against the assad regime began. now we have this agreeing threat in syria, in iraq. it seems that we have no question that -- there's no option but to ratchet up our forces and to, as i say, engage in this tacit alliance. between the two, he's the lesser of two evils. >> analysts said had we armed the rebels in syria the last year or two, those would have been in the hands. isis. your response would be? >> my response to that would be that those weapons have already wound up in the hands of isis
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and terrorists there. it's a murky situation. there's no good answer. it's very, very difficult. we are where we are, and now with the beheading of mr. foley, i think a corner has been turned. i think the administration has been seized by the gravity of the threat. i think we'll see a much more robust response. >> i want to talk about hostages. you brought up james foley. obviously an awful outcome with him. much different with theo curtis, released in the last 24 hours. does this release, this negotiation between the groups provide a blueprint for a way to perhaps get american hostages freed over the coming days and sfwheex. >> that's unclear -- weeks? >> that's unclear. the qataris were key in this. that points out the advantage to the united states of having friends and allies like the qataris who have friendships with those we don't. because they had this relationship, they, the qataris, with the al nustra front, less
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savage than al qaeda, isis, it's unclear whether a ransom was paid. the qataris say one was not. perhaps it's true. perhaps it's not. if it isn't true, it points out the advantage of having a relationship with a country that has not just different relationships than we but also different policies than we. i hope no ransom was paid because clearly that would increase the likelihood of americans being taken hostage going forward. >> what a complicated situation on every front. thank you very much for being with us. appreciate your help. >> thank you, john. next up, on the day that michael run into laid to rest in missouri, we will hear from his mother and the mothers of sean bell and trayvon martin. all the women lost their sons to gun violence. violence in some cases at the hands of police. the cnn exclusive ahead. how you doing? >> i'm okay. >> you all right? this is a beginning for you. these ladies are here. do you feel the support that
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michael brown will be laid to rest this morning in missouri. we have a cnn exclusive interview with three mothers who are connected through the death of their sons. cnn's don lemon sat down with michael brown's mother, lesley mcspadden, along with valerie bell, who lost her son -- and sybrina fulton, who lost her son in 2012 when he was shot, and
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valerie bell, whose son died after being shot in a barrage of bullets in 1996. we have more now from don lemons in st. louis. what an intend interview you conducted. -- intense interview you conducted. >> it was intense. it was the first time the three women had met. sean bell's mother and trayvon martin's mother had met. it was the first time that they met michael brown's mothers, lesley mcspadden. it was an emotional interview, as you said. it was intense. but there was also something in it that was very helpful that will prove to be hopefully very helpful to michael brown's mother. here it is. >> we got it. >> we got it. >> we got it. we got it. >> hey, ma'am amp hey, ma'am amp god bless you. god bless you. >> an emotional embrace. >> just lean on him. he going to cover you.
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he going to cover your family. and he going to make sure you're okay. >> the mothers of trayvon martin, sean bell, and michael brown meeting for the first time. >> keep your head up, no matter what is done. keep your head up. you can see your son in you. >> we stepped out of the room. we'll see you in a few minutes. giving them time alone before starting our interview. what can these moms, these women aol -- these women and moms can offer something that husbands can't. what can they offer you? >> they're speaking to me from experience. you know? they are offering me something right now that -- i can't tell you what it is. but it's something. and something is more than nothing. >> when we were standing,
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waiting to meet her, you turned to valerie, sabryna, and said, "are you having flashbacks of this moment?" >> yes -- >> when it was the day before the homegoing -- >> yes, the strong part of the flashback is my son eight years ago, that was my flashback. thinking of her at that time, her son was 10-years-old when it happened. and i thought to say to her, keep the memorialra -- memoriesn your heart, that will help you continue on with your son, and believe and having faith in god will help you and close family members, that's what keeps me, the memories of my son. he always did tell me, "ma, i got this." i'm telling you, "ma, you got this." it's okay to cry, scream, i still do. it's eight years. you got this. >> you have to focus on when he was smiling. you have to focus on his first day of school, and you have to focus on christmas day and things like that. the happier times. put a picture up when he was happy. >> yes. >> and you have to focus on those.
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just don't focus on the death. that's going to eat away at you. >> lesley, i'm sure it doesn't seem real to you. these ladies are examples that you can survive this. i don't know -- i can't -- maybe i'm not putting it in the right words, but can you ever be whole again? can you ever -- how would you put it? >> i don't think it's a matter of being a whole. what i think it is is a matter of a new life. this is the new life. i can never go back to what i was and what i was because i'm missing something very precious and special. >> losing my son is like losing a part of your body. but you remember what that part has done for you. like if you lose an arm, you knew what that arm did. my thing is keeping the memories that will keep you and carry you on. >> i want you to talk about it
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because it's difficult and you have dealt with it, is character assassination. i think you describe it as character assassination, one of you. what do you mean by that? >> that means that people that don't even know her son is going to say negative things about him just to portray him in a different light, in a negative light, just to try to justify what happened. >> is that one of the hardest parts of you thinking about that, about people talking about your son? >> no, the hardest part for her is going to be the home going service. as i have said, that is the absolutely worst day of her life as a mother. there is no words that can bring comfort to her as a mother by
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seeing her son in the casket. >> do you go around the house, in the kitchen, talking to trayvon? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> yes. >> do you? >> yes. if i know something has to be done, "ma, i got this." say it, "ma, i got this." >> do you do the same thing, lesley? >> especially when it rains. yep. >> when it rains, why? [ inaudible ] >> some being it. >> that makes you want to -- >> i feel him. he's there. >> uh-huh. >> he's this. he's watching over you. >> what was it like meeting her? >> i'm glad you did meet you. it brought back memories of my
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son, and i thought of your son. >> it's hurtful, but at the same time, it's -- it's comforting because i know she needs people that understand what she's going through. >> and lesley, what was it like meeting these ladies? they've been saying everything, how they feel about you. what's it like meeting them? what do you want to say to them? >> i'm sorry what you had to go through. >> i'm sorry about yours, too. >> thank you all. >> he got you. we got you, baby. we got you.
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>> so you could see during that interview that those ladies had to finish her sentences. that's what she can expect from those ladies. and sadly from a sorority of women and parents who are having to deal with very similar situations. she had just come from the funeral home to make sure that her son is okay for the burial, for the casket. and now today, she is laying him to rest. >> don, it is so hard to watch. michael brown's mother look so shattered. i mean, her whole body language, she's curled over on herself. did you get the feeling that she did get any comfort or lift from being with them? >> reporter: absolutely. and she said she did. i asked her during the interview, what do you get from these ladies. she said, i don't know, but it's something. they've been there. and can i -- can i just say this -- we've heard so much hatred,
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so many negative words. i'm not even going to read twitter today. after the interview aired earlier today, i looked on twitter because i wanted people to see it and make sure we got it out there. and people were saying such vile, disgusting, bigoted, ignorant thing. no mother should ever go through this, regardless of the circumstances. so i'm taking a break from twitter and asking people out there regardless of where you are, just stop it today. let the woman bury her son. think about this as a parent, as a human being. regardless of how you feel about the officer or her, today she's laying her child, a teenaged boy, to rest. give it a rest, everybody. just be human today. be a loving person. >> with everything that's happened, if she's even had a chance to mourn over the last two weeks. i hope she go gdoes get the cha today. >> she looks like she's processing in real time. don, thanks for the beautiful interview. really powerful. >> thank goodness she has friends and the people in the church to support her.
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ouft strength to stand up yourself -- you don't have the strength to stand up for yourself. >> that's what you heard them saying, god will support her. coming up, words of wisdom from an 8-year-old child. a class assign investment louisiana becomes an inspiration to u.s. troops. t the good stuff, coming up. ♪ ♪
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here we go. monday, good stuff. four words -- a class assignment bay frank 8-year-old louisiana boy became a source of inspiration for u.s. troops stationed in afghanistan. gavin brint's handwritten message "hope you make it," signed only with his first name. his teacher thought this is too blunt to send and would be taken in a good way. his mark became an uplifting motto for the airmen and those deployed. it was found on posters and mugs and coffee cups. they embarked on a mission to find the author. local journalists with the is "shreveport times" posted "who is gocavin? help make it happen." they addressed their namesake over skype. >> every time we went somewhere or did something, it was "hope you make it."
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i'm not sure how at such a young age something so wise could come out of such a small body. and we really -- we're really gladded that it did. >> look at the face. hope you make it. >> sometimes the simple message is the best. >> true. that is all for us this morning. thank you very much for being with us. it is now time for "newsroom" with carol costello. >> hi, carol. >> thanks. have a great day, guys. "newsro "newsroom" starts now. and good morning, i'm carol costello. thank you very much for joining me. this morning, a community grieves, and the nation pauses. next hour, thousands of people will fill the st. louis church for the funeral of michael brown, the unarmed african-american teenager who was killed by a white police officer. two weeks after violent protests erupted in his hometown of ferguson, calls

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